Network Engineer Job Interview – What to Expect?

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Inteviewer is waiting for applicantsIf you are invited for this interview, you need to answer several questions before you start your preparation. What technology does the employer prefer? Do they use Cisco or Juniper? Or do they apply something different? Technical interview questions will vary in each case, that’s why it is crucial to understand their technology.

Who is going to lead the interview with you is another important question. Selection process often consists of several rounds. In the first one, external consultant or an HR generalist is going to interview you. This person will know nothing about Cisco, Juniper and network engineering… His goal is only to assess your motivation to do the job, your communication skills, your requirements as well as desires and your personality.

Based on your results in the screening interview, you may, as well as not, progress to the second round. The less professional the interviewer is, the more you need to focus on creating good relationship with him. Personal preferences play a huge role in first rounds… By showing motivation and determination to do a good job you have a good chance to be chosen for the second round.

It specialist or senior network engineer will lead it. Typically, an HR person is present too. However, now you will deal with all kinds of tough technical challenges. Lets’ have a look at both first and second interview questions right now!


Personal and behavioral questions

In the first screening interview, you’ll have to deal with the following questions:

You should not underestimate these personal and behavioral questions. I suggest you to think about it for a while, or to use sample answers from this website for your inspiration. Most of these questions has nothing to do with the actual job, I know. But they belong to interview process and in order to get a job, you simply can’t ignore it.

Technical questions

Cisco illustrationThe questions will be very different in the second round of interviews. You will deal with practical network engineering questions, such as:


  • Why do you prefer Cisco (Juniper) to other solutions?
  • Can you name the advantages of Cisco (Juniper)?
  • What Firewall do you personally consider as the most secure one and why?
  • Do you know what means to bridge the VPNs? Where it is used?
  • What is the reason why we shoudl use secondary router also?
  • What are the layers in TCP/IP protocol?
  • Can you define various types of Sockets and where we can find it?
  • What means the following address of subnet mask?
  • What represents the majority part of worldwide NSP revenue today?
  • How would you reduce the watts per bit to ensure the higher efficiency of a computer network? Describe the process and the steps you will take.
  • Describe the latest time you had to troubleshoot a network. What was the problem and what steps did you take to eliminate the problem?
  • What do you see as future of network engineering?
  • From your point of view, what is more important nowadays: security or speed?
  • Write a function, and the output should be the function itself.
  • When you receive a crash dump for a process from a particular customer, Is it possible to know the line number of which function has caused the problem?

Note: For answers to advanced technical questions, please check our book section. Thank you!

As you can guess, they can potentially ask you thousands of various technical questions. To be honest, nobody can answer each one… The most important thing is to show that you know where to look for an answer, for example searching the support forums, doing split tests, etc.


What decides the winner at the end?

The competition is never super high in this interview. However, few applicants you will compete with will all be skilled in technical aspect of the job. Therefor, it is often one’s ability to sell his skills and knowledge to the recruiters that decides the winner in an interview.

If you think that you struggle in this aspect, it will be better to do something about it before your interview. Our recording I Will Get a Job will show you how to impress the recruiters and make the most of every opportunity in an interview. Thank you for checking it out here.

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